Off-the-Shelf Home Security for Your Nest: Should you Ring Fence your Options?
Hive got Advice for You!
The ‘smart home’ is a buzzword right now. Those who’ll remember BBC’s Tomorrow’s World will know that we’ve been waiting sooo long for this.
We’ve all sorts of modern gadgets now that will connect with your Star Trek-type communicator (aka smartphone) that allows you to have more control than ever over your home’s basic functions… from a distance.
It’s the early days of the smart home. Your lighting, your heating, your TV and music can all be conveniently (and arguably, lazily) controlled.
For those ready to embrace this, it is exciting, no doubt about that. And if you don’t know if you’re ready, then really, if you know how to use a smartphone, you’re ready to use these new technologies.
The exciting bit for me is watching the advancements of this industry.
You’ll be aware, since you’re reading this, that we now have some more advanced home control features: the security of your home.
So now we’re talking about some serious tech that has a serious job to do; an important job.
To put it in context: more serious and important than tap tap, ‘make my house warm before I get home’. Or “Hey Alexa/Google… play my chill-out playlist”.
Smart Cams are Here
The marketing of lots of smart cams you can buy off-the-shelf will often seem to suggest that their product does all you need it to, case closed. But as I’ve already said, it’s early days in this smart home industry, and even though we are pretty sure we know what we want as a security solution, does the average user know what the standards are or what our own personal minimum requirements for home CCTV security are?
I’ll outline the questions you should ask yourself before buying off-the-shelf smart home security, and try to give you some ideas of what will cover you for the long run and make your decision as future-proof as is possible. Most importantly: what is value for money.
Single Camera or Full Coverage?
If you want proper security that covers all angles of your property of course you’re going to need more than one camera at your front door.
Most off-the-shelf smart home cameras are sold as single units. I would consider these as entry-level CCTV products. And the problem is with single item products is that when you start adding up the number of cameras you really need, to give your family or business the security required, the price starts going up.
So let just say you go for a couple of off-the-shelf cameras. Unless you’re pretty handy you’ll want someone to fit them for you, and for the non-wireless models, run the cables around your home. With that, there’s the first additional cost you may not have thought about.
I’ll let you know now that if you want a few off-the-shelf cameras, and including their subscriptions, never mind the fitting, you’re in the price range of a far more professional system that has no monthly subscription costs, has been fitted within the same price and has an on-site warranty.
Wireless or Wired?
Wireless sounds great, just screw the camera to the wall and connect to your wifi. Sounds easy, but then you have to consider how the unit is powered. Do you want to be replacing batteries on each camera every so often, climbing up a ladder. Or will it be powered by a cable? Again, this professional installation is going to add to the cost of what you thought was a cheap option.
Wireless also can be unreliable, not always, but there is that risk.
And if your WiFi router signal isn’t strong enough, reliable enough or is a distance from each camera, the other side of bricks and mortar on every corner of your house, you’re going to have problems right off the bat.
A wired connection in my experience is the only way if you want reliability.
How can Securico Help?
All our CCTV systems come with professional fitting in the price. We’ll professionally run the cables and fit the cameras.
Securico CCTV systems are upgradeable and with that you get future-proofing. If you need to add extra cameras or more storage, these are all possible.
Storage, Subscription & Extras
So you’ve already paid for putting eyes around your home, great. And you’ll want to know if someone came suspiciously to your door yesterday, but you’ve not got round to looking at that footage until a few days or a week later if you’re busy or didn’t particularly mark it as THAT suspicious. Now you want to view that footage. Well, there could be a charge for that.
Many off-the-shelf smart cameras don’t have the storage on-board to keep recordings for a week or beyond.
This is where the cloud (cloud storage) comes in, of course for an additional cost. Once you’ve bought and fitted, and set up the cameras, you’ll have to be tied in to subscription that can range from around £5 a month to £25 a month, depending on how long you want to keep recordings for and at what quality. There’s not really an option to say, ‘well I’ll try it out for a while and then stop it if I can’t afford it’. The pessimistic among us would be thinking “the moment I cut back on the subscription cost I’ll probably have a break-in!” So you’re tied-in, in my opinion.
With cloud storage you’re also relying on other devices and other technology to be reliable: Your internet connection and your router, which ensure your off-the-shelf security system is working to full potential, and sending the recordings to the online storage service. Which in itself needs to be reliable. Ask if they have redundancy built-in. i.e. Can they guarantee 100% uptime?
How can Securico Help?
Complete professional systems like Securico’s Hikvision offering, are self-contained systems. If your internet connection is down, or your router is playing up, the system is still recording and doing its job, like a boss! The recordings are stored on hard drives – that you own! Most of these systems you can add more storage to as well.
Aesthetics over Strength?
I love technology, and I love the designs that tech manufacturers are coming out with these days. Some of these single unit cameras do look very nice. But cameras do get targeted by scumbags. Strangely, criminals don’t seem to like cameras watching and recording their activities. I’ve known cameras to be stolen, and certainly they will try to take out the camera.
Vandal-proof cameras do exist of course and we fit them everyday. I wonder if there is a trade-off with the lovely looking single unit cameras and how tough they are.
If you need vandal-proof cameras or don’t know if you do, just give us a call to discuss. We’ll offer our professional advice.
So how do Securico CCTV systems compare?
All systems come with professional fitting in the price.
All our systems you can view on a mobile phone, tablet, PC or Mac, anywhere in the world without subscription costs.
High Definition (HD) is standard and we have the option for 4K. 4K is four times the quality of HD giving you the best you can get in detail. Four times the quality and detail of off-the-shelf smart cams.
Our CCTV systems are self-contained systems, meaning that if your internet goes down, it’s still recording.
The storage is on-board, so you’re not having to pay extra to keep your recordings or play them back. We’ll make sure you get the right amount of storage to record continuously for 30 days or beyond, if needed.
Advanced security features like motion detection and alerting come as part of the system, no need for a subscription to provide additional services.
Securico CCTV systems are upgradeable. If you need to add extra cameras or more storage, you can, just tell our ordering team what you need to be future-proof and they’ll be happy to oblige.
If the hardware becomes faulty your on-site warranty means we’ll send an engineer to fit the replacement part.
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